Monday, March 18, 2013

Meteorological Winter Shenanigans

According to the National Weather service, March is the end of meteorological winter in my area.  It is currently snowing, so I'm going to take that with a grain of salt.

But the weekend was mostly nice, especially Sunday, and, since Sunday was St. Patrick's day, Spider and I decided to get up to some shenanigans.

Does the hat make him an Irish Thoroughbred?


We decided that dressage was just far too French of an activity for St. Paddy's, and went for a trail ride instead.

Spider and I have different views on what constitutes a "trail ride".  I like following a nice little trail through the woods, enjoying the scenery, and maybe jumping over a log or two.  Spider likes to make his own trails.  If allowed to choose his own path, he will always just go right off the trail and through the brush.  I think he may have watched "The Man From Snowy River" one too many times as a colt, and now fancies himself a Brumby.

In the last year, we've had two hurricanes, a derecho, and several Nor'easters that have knocked down trees on our usual trails.  Spider loves this, as it means he gets to choose the path around the downed trees.  Unfortunately, he never chooses the path of least resistance:

It's blurry because I'm getting hit in the face by a tree branch. Which is probably why you shouldn't take pictures while "trail" riding.

So we enjoyed a lively afternoon crashing through the woods, mostly off the trail.  Spider has all the grace of a drunk walrus when it comes to "trail" riding, and makes about as much noise.  I think we might have given the local deer and squirrels a heart attack.  But, we had fun and even got to use some dressage.

It turns out that lateral work comes in very handy when your Brumby-wannabe walrus is about to run you into a tree... unless you're taking a picture on your phone, that is.

After we got back from our trail ride we shared a whiskey sour in honor of St. Patrick.  And by "shared", I mean Spider dumped my whiskey sour all over the bar and then licked it up.  Maybe he is Irish, after all....

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

14 comments:

  1. Ah, the Man From Snowy River Syndrome, kind of keeps the exciting in "trail" riding!

    The next time you watch that movie, look at the boys horse, and then go to my blog and look at Danny. I swear he starred in that movie. LOL

    Awesome pics!

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    1. I'm just glad we don't have any cliffs around here!

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  2. Fun! That lateral work does come in handy...do you always ride in a double bridle? Sweet boy.

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    1. I almost always ride in the double because Spider seems to prefer it. Spider has a very sensitive mouth and an overbite. He is much more comfortable in the double than he is with just a regular snaffle.

      Now, when I ride in the double I have very little pressure on the curb. I ride with the curb rein slack, so the only pressure he gets from the curb is it's natural action. But, for some reason, just having the curb in his mouth makes him more comfortable and willing to take the contact from the snaffle. I can't explain it, but I go with it.

      When I ride with just a snaffle, I use a Baucher (AKA, hanging cheek or b-ring) snaffle. He likes it better than the loose rings, eggbutts and d-rings, but not as much as the double. One of these days I'm going to try him in just a mild western-style curb bit, but I haven't gotten around to it.

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  3. Trail-blazing is a great way to spend a holiday!

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    1. Yes it is! And, Spider gave me lots of good ideas for new trails to cut!

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  4. Love hearing about your freestyle trail ride! Nice apres ride beverage choice.

    Would you mind explaining why Spider likes the Baucher?

    I've been thinking about trying Val in one, mostly because I noticed from video and the uneven slobber/sweat marks around his mouth that his eggbutt slides around considerably. I was wondering of he would approve of the stability of the Baucher. Thanks! :D

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    1. I bet he would! And you can find them fairly cheap, so it's definitely worth a try.

      The Baucher does not slide around in the horse's mouth because of the little "stem" on the top. A loose ring, eggbut or D ring allows the cheek piece of the bridle to slide around the bit. This doesn't happen in the Baucher, because the cheek piece is fixed in place. It's almost like a cross between a D ring and a full cheek. And it's competition legal!

      Many people will try to tell you that it's a leverage bit or applies pressure to the poll. It does not. Those people just don't understand physics. ;) In order to exert leverage or pressure on the poll, the bit would need a fixed lever on the pivot point (where the reins attach is the lever for the pivot point on a bit). The reins slide freely in the Baucher, therefore no leverage or pressure on the poll.

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  5. Spider would love my trails about now. Every single one has been blocked by a fallen tree, or two, or three. Every ride requires his kind of trail blazing techniques. *G* Glad you had a good time for St. Patrick's Day...whiskey sour included.

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    1. This last year has been crazy for storms! I've got a lot of work to do to get my trails in shape. Luckily I've got an excellent trailblazer to help me. He's cheap, too. I pay him in whiskey sours! *G*

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  6. Mine finds the usual interpretation of trails a bit limiting as well - nice to see she has a soulmate out there! We made it up the mountain a few weeks ago and when I turned to take a picture of the view, off she stepped in the direction I was looking, only it was over the road edge and into the bush :)

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    1. That's why I don't ride on mountains!

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  7. I fed Alex some Guinness... he made lots of faces, but kept going back for more :)

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    1. Horses love beer! Spider has been known to try to snatch beers from unsuspecting people who got too close to him!

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